The Museum’s mollusk collection consists of more than 2 million specimens, making it the tenth largest collection in North America. The 250,000 lots, of which 220,000 are catalogued, represent more than 18,000 species. Worldwide in scope and covering all seven living classes of mollusks, our holdings comprise marine Gastropoda (50%), land and freshwater Gastropoda (25%), marine Bivalvia (15%), and freshwater Bivalvia (5%). The Museum’s mollusk collection is primarily dry shells, with some alcohol preserved cephalopod specimens. Most specimens are recent; however, there is some Cenozoic fossil material. Our type collection contains more than 1,200 lots. Type catalogs listing all molluscan type specimens (except Pulmonata) are available in Nemouria issues 36 and 41. The collection continues to grow through research activities of staff and donations of scientifically significant specimens.
For further information about our holdings, please contact Mollusks Collection Manager Alex Kittle.
The Mollusk department sponsors the du Pont Trophy which is awarded to the overall best exhibit at participating North American shell shows. The du Pont trophy was re-imagined and updated in 2012 to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Museum and is now a framed, signed, limited edition print of an original artwork based on a shell in our collection. The shell show name and year are engraved onto attached brass plaques.
If you would like to request a du Pont Trophy for your shell show, please contact Mollusks Collection Manager Alex Kittle at least one month prior to the shell show date.